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They include both hard and soft problems. The soft problems are the ones which are unstructured and therefore require further analysis before they can be resolved. Checkland (1981) Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) in terms of the seven stage approach was utilised to obtain important information and later to facilitate improvements to the existing system of operations. Based on the root definitions a conceptual model was put forward indicating the areas that need immediate improvements. It was recommended that Deming’s Plan, Do, Check, Act modelled be considered. It was also recommended that quality management be a key aspect of improving the system and that the implementation of Six Sigma be considered in future. Introduction Achiffa operations is affected by a number of problems, most of which are related. Some of these problems cannot be solved using traditional or hard approaches to problem solving. It therefore means that another approach has to be found. These problems are more related to human activities and should be carefully dealt with. SSM is a framework that has developed to deal with problems of this nature (Checkland 1981; Checkland and Scholes 1990; Checkland 1999). The role of SSM is to investigate, gain understanding and identify problems. SSM is based on system thinking in that it views the problem domain in a holistic way with the recognition that all parts of the organisation are connected. This suggests that when changes are made to one part other parts of the system will be affected (Checkland 1999). Operations at Achiffa Snack Foods Achiffa Snack Foods purchases potatoes from various suppliers for it operations. These supplies are transformed during the production process into a total of six products including fries, potato wedges and hash browns. Achiffa customers are restaurants, supermarkets. However, waste products and rejects are sold to farmers. After production the goods are transported to regional distribution centres from which logistic providers - in this case FreshDist takes the products directly to the customers. The diagram below is an input-output model which provides a basic illustration of the operations at Achiffa. Input-output Model of Operations at Achiffa Snack Foods Adapted from: Kumar and Suresh (2009, p. 9) Customers are concerned about prices and so Achiffa has to ensure that the supply chain is managed in such a way that the company’s products are competitive. In order for this to be possible production has to be managed in an efficient and effective manner. Therefore the layout of the production area is very important as it helps to facilitate the smooth flow of operations. Additionally, Achiffa needs to ensure that production is planned in such a way that time is not taken up with setting up machines for processing several items in one day. The scheduling of production should also be linked to demand as well as the space available for storing the products – this is termed capacity management. It therefore means that the logistics provider would be required to work in accordance with the schedule provided for delivery. Correcting these problems would help reduce lean time by improving on time delivery, eliminate waste and reduce cost (McCreary 2009). It is important that management consistently examine as well as monitor the quality of service it provides to customers with a view to enhancing it. Achiffa should also ensure that the jobs of all persons involved in the production of its products encourage contribution to the success of the business. Arrangements should therefore be made to have enough supplies on hand so that products are replenished without undue delay. The Use of SSM to Resolve Problems at Achiffa SSM may be used to
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Lean 6? – Root Cause Analysis process capability from the external customer’s and VOP perspectives Introduction Six Sigma has emerged as a method of identifying, classifying and solving problems that affect the overall productivity of a business. Large industrial names such as GE and Motorola have proved the efficacy of utilising Six Sigma over and over again.
A number of researchers and authors have presented definitions on six sigma. Interestingly, their understanding of the concept is expressed in different words but the meaning is standardized. We can say that six sigma is a tool employed for the measurement and improvement of operational performance of an organization.
Nowadays, companies, whether manufacturing or non-manufacturing, are seeing the benefits that Six Sigma offers to them. Surprisingly, though, Six Sigma is just a fairly modern invention. This paper explores and examines the definition, methodology, corps of experts, and criticisms attributed to Six Sigma system.
Six Sigma uses a variety of quality management procedures and groups the workforce into a special infrastructure that is based on the employee’s skills (Pande & Holpp, 2002). Every Six Sigma project follows a specific sequence of steps which has its own objectives.
The precursor of Lean Six Sigma was the Six Sigma which was first developed by Motorola in the 1980s. “Six Sigma is primarily a methodology for improving the capability of business processes by using statistical methods to identify and decrease or eliminate process variation.
It provides a unifying theme for initiatives directed at improving organizational performance. As IT companies move along the six-sigma learning curve, they will encounter the same challenges they confronted with previous initiatives: project proliferation, limited payback, competition with other efforts and inapplicability to larger problems.
Let us consider four stages of evolution of production quality approaches.
First of them is a stage of rejection (till 20th years of the last century). According to this approach in order to provide a consumer products congruent to accepted standards, special attention should be paid to elimination of rejects.
Six Sigma is initially developed by Motorola in mid 1980s for various systematic improvements and eliminating certain defects. It is a registered trade mark of Motorola which is being adopting by number of companies
Statistically, its purpose is to decrease process variation to enable virtually all the services or products provided satisfy or exceed the client’s expectations.
Motorola formulated the methodological particulars of Six Sigma in 1986, though it can be traced